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Addendum
Before making his/her application, a Tier 4 Student should consider the additional guidance at
Appendix A of this document. This appendix updates some of the existing guidance elsewhere
in this document and should be considered in addition to the existing guidance.
Areas covered are:
1. Arrangements for Students using the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE
Academic)

This section explains how Tier 4 (General) students using the Pearson Test of English Academic
(PTE Academic) to demonstrate their English language ability should make their application.
2. Arrangements allowing 18 and 19 year olds to apply for additional permission to stay
as a Tier 4 (Child) Student.

This section explains how an 18 or 19 year old student can apply for additional permission to
stay as a Tier 4 (Child) Student if he/she is currently studying in the UK as:
• a Tier 4 (Child) student; or
• as a student under the student rules that were in force before 31 March 2009,
where the student was granted permission to stay whilst he/she was under 18
years old.


TIER 4
version 04/11
Tier 4 of the Points Based
System – Policy Guidance
This guidance is to
be used for all Tier 4
applications made on
or after 21 April 2011

ConTEnTS
Introduction .................................................................................................... 1
Key Principles.................................................................................................2
Documents the student will need to send with his/her application .......... 2
Tier 4 Sponsors ............................................................................................. 3
new Requirements for Tier 4 Sponsors ...................................................... 3
The Confirmation Of Acceptance For Studies ........................................... 4
Money (also known as Maintenance or Funds) .......................................... 5
Restrictions on some Students with Official Financial Sponsorship ....... 6
Private foster care arrangement ................................................................. 7

Tier 4 (General) Students ............................................................... 7
Specific guidance for Tier 4 (General) students ........................................ 7
English language courses .......................................................................... 10

Higher education courses at overseas institutions ................................. 10
Post-graduate doctors and dentists ...........................................................11
Student union sabbatical officer .................................................................11

English language Ability ............................................................................. 14
Claiming points for a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies ............. 19
Do I require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)
Clearance Certificate?................................................................................. 21
What Money does a Tier 4 (General) Student Need? .............................. 23

Money that can be used .............................................................................. 25
Parental Consent (Tier 4 (General) students under 16 and 17 years old
students only) .............................................................................................. 31

Tier 4 (Child) Students ................................................................. 31
Specific guidance for Tier 4 (Child) students ........................................... 31
Claiming points for a Confirmation of Acceptance Studies .................... 33

What money does a Tier 4 (Child) student need? .................................... 35
What money does a Tier 4 (Child) student
need if he/she is a boarding
student? ....................................................................................................... 35
What money does a Tier 4 (Child) student need if he/she is a
non-boarding student? ............................................................................... 35


Course fees .................................................................................................. 36
What money for living costs does a Tier 4 (Child) student need if
they are staying with a carer who is a resident British citizen or other UK
resident? ..................................................................................................... 36
What money does a Tier 4 (Child) student under 12 years old accompanied
to the UK by a parent or legal guardian need for living costs? .............. 36
What money does a 16 or 17 year old living independently need to

show for living costs? ................................................................................. 37
Parental Consent ......................................................................................... 44
Further policy guidance– for all Students ................................................. 46
What do we mean by ‘Date of Application’? ............................................. 46
Can students bring their partners and/or children with them? .............. 46
What general conditions will be attached to a student’s stay in the UK? 47
Can a student work whilst in the UK? ....................................................... 47
What types of work placements are students permitted to take? .......... 48
Can a student take a Pre-sessional course to prepare him/her for
their main course of study in the UK? ...................................................... 48
Can a student do extra studies whilst in the UK? .................................... 49
What do Students have to do if they want to take the same or a different
course of study in the UK with a new Tier 4 Sponsor? ........................... 49
Students who applied on or after 5 october 2009 .................................... 49

Students who have valid permission to stay following an application
made before 5 october 2009 ...................................................................... 50
What do students have to do if they want to do a different course
of study with their Tier 4 sponsor? ............................................................ 51
What happens if a student’s course ends early? ..................................... 51
What checks will you make on the documents sent with an
application? ................................................................................................ 51
What can a student do if his/her application is refused? ........................ 51
Appeal Rights - applications from inside the UK ..................................... 51

Administrative review - applications from outside the UK only ............. 51
Annex1: Glossary of Terms ........................................................................ 53
Annex 2: Tier4 Sponsor Duties and Licence Status ................................ 54
Annex3: Verification and other Checks ..................................................... 60

Annex4: Administrative Review (Entry clearance applications only) .... 63
Annex 5: How Much Money Must I Show That I Have? ............................ 67

InTRoDUCTIon
1. This document gives the policy guidance for students coming to the UK under Tier 4 of
the points based system, and should be read with paragraphs 245ZT to 245ZZD of the
Immigration Rules (these can be found on our website at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/
policyandlaw/immigrationlaw/immigrationrules/). It is correct at the time of publication but
some sections may change, so students should always check they have the right version by
going to our website.
2. A student making an application from outside the UK for entry clearance should go to the
International Group website (formerly known as UK Visas) at www.ukvisas.gov.uk/en/
howtoapply/vafs where he/she can find the forms and more information on how to fill them in.
3. A student making an application from inside the UK should go to the UK Border Agency
website to find the application form at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/
4. For the Immigration Rules in full and more information on how to apply, go to our website
which can be found at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk/.
5. A full glossary of terms used in this guidance can be found at Annex 1.
Tier 4 Policy Guidance (04/2011) page 1 of 68

KEY PRInCIPLES
6. There are two student categories in Tier 4 of the points-based system:
o Tier 4 (General) student – for students coming to the UK for post-16 education
o Tier 4 (Child) student – for children between 4 and 17 years old to come to the UK
for their education. Children between 4 and 15 years old may only be educated at
independent fee paying schools.
7. Students must meet the full requirements of the Immigration Rules and have 40 points in
total as shown in the table below:
Points required: 40
Having a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from a Tier 4
30
sponsor
points
Having enough money to cover course fees and monthly living costs
10
(also known as maintenance or funds)
points
8. A student’s application under Tier 4 can be refused under the general grounds for refusal
listed in the Immigration Rules. This means that even if a student meets the requirements
of the category they are applying for, there may be other reasons why we will refuse the
application. For example, this could be because of the student’s previous immigration
history. Further information about general grounds for refusal can be found on our
website at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/IDIs/
idischapter9/.
9. All students making a Tier 4 application will have to submit his/her biometrics details. An
application can only be assessed once these are received.
Documents the student will need to send with his/her application
10. T
o claim points, a student must send the required documents listed in this guidance when
he/she makes his/her application (paragraph 245AA of the Immigration Rules). We will only
accept the documents listed in this guidance as evidence (proof).
11. Documents must be issued by an authorised official of the issuing organisation and be:


• original (unless we say otherwise); and
• on the official letter-headed paper or stationery of the organisation.
12. For students already in the UK, where a document is not in English or W

elsh, the original
must be accompanied by a fully certified translation by a professional translator/translation
company. This translation must include:
• details of the translator/translation company’s credentials; and
• confirmation that it is an accurate translation of the original document; and
• the translator/translation company’s contact details.
Tier 4 Policy Guidance (04/2011) page 2 of 68

It must also be dated and include the original signature of the translator or an authorised
official of the translation company.
13. For students overseas, any documents that have to be submitted in support of points

claimed, which are not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a full translation that
can be independently verified by the UK Border Agency. The original translation must
contain confirmation from the translator/translation company that it is an accurate translation
of the original document, the date of the translation, the translator/an authorised official of
the translation company’s full name and signature, and the translator/translation company’s
contact details.
14. Where a

translation of an overseas qualification or award certificate is submitted, we will
not take it as a direct translation of the academic level of that award. We will always use UK
NARIC to assess the equivalency of overseas qualifications.
TIER 4 SPonSoRS
15. T
o apply under Tier 4, a student must have a Tier 4 sponsor. All Tier 4 sponsors who want to
provide courses for international students need a licence from the UK Border Agency. Once
they get a licence, they are added to the Tier 4 register of sponsors.
16. The register of sponsors has the name, location and rating of the organisation. Sponsors

will either be on the Tier 4 Highly Trusted register of sponsors or on the standard register
of sponsors where they will be rated as either A (Trusted) or B (Sponsor). Highly trusted
sponsors have to demonstrate the highest levels of compliance with their sponsor duties and
in return are able to offer a wider range of course levels and work placement opportunities.
The B (sponsor) rating is a transitional rating and means that the sponsor is working with us
to improve their systems.
17. Students can check whether their

Tier 4 sponsor has a licence by looking at the Tier 4
register of sponsors on our website at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/
employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/registerofsponsorseducation
18. A
student’s Tier 4 sponsor will assign the student a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies
(CAS) reference number, which is an official and unconditional offer of a place on a course
of study.
19. More information on the role of approved

Tier 4 sponsors can be found at Annex 2.
new Requirements for Tier 4 Sponsors
20. From

April 2012, all Tier 4 Sponsors will have to have been inspected, audited or reviewed
by:
• Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education (UK-wide);
• Ofsted;
• The Bridge Schools Inspectorate (England);
• Schools Inspection Service (England);
• Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (Scotland);
• Estyn (Wales);
• Education and Training Inspectorate (Northern Ireland);
• Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). (UK-wide)
Tier 4 Policy Guidance (04/2011) page 3 of 68

and all must become Highly Trusted Sponsors.
21. All current

Tier 4 sponsors who do not meet the above requirements will be allowed to stay
on the Tier 4 Sponsor Register provided they continue to comply with their duties, for a
limited period from April 2011. During that time, these Tier 4 sponsors will be limited in the
number of students they may sponsor.
22. T
ier 4 Sponsors subject to the Interim Limit will be required to apply for Highly Trusted
Sponsor status, and also apply for accreditation under the revised system by a date to be
specified in due course. They will need to have obtained Highly Trusted Sponsor status by
April 2012 and will have until the end of 2012 to be accredited by the relevant body.
23. Full details of these new requirements are available in the

Tier 4 Sponsor guidance, which is
available on our website at:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/
pbsguidance/
THE CONFIRMATION OF ACCEPTANCE FOR STUDIES
What is a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies?

24. The Confirmation of

Acceptance for Studies (CAS) is not an actual certificate or paper
document but is a virtual document similar to a database record. Each Confirmation of
Acceptance for Studies has a unique reference number and contains information about
the course of study for which it has been issued and the student’s personal details. The
information that the sponsor will include in a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies can
be found on our website: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/
employersandsponsors/pointsbasedsystem/sponsor-prep-phase-4.
25. W
e will not provide the student with his/her Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies reference
number as this is the Tier 4 sponsor’s responsibility to do so.
26. The

Tier 4 sponsor will also need to provide the student with some of the information they
used when they assigned the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies, for example course
details, documents the Tier 4 sponsor has used to assess the student and fees due for the
appropriate period of study. The student will need this information to accurately complete his/
her application and to make sure that he/she knows which documents to send when he/she
applies.
27. A
student cannot make his/her Tier 4 application more than three months before the start of
his/her course.
When is a Confirmation of Acceptance for studies valid?
28. A
valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies is one that:
• has the same details on it as in the student’s passport; and
• was assigned no more than six months before the date of application; and
• has not been withdrawn or cancelled by the Tier 4 sponsor or us.
The Immigration Rules and Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance contain full details of the information a
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must contain in order to be valid.
Tier 4 Policy Guidance (04/2011) page 4 of 68

29. The Confirmation of

Acceptance for Studies will expire if it is not used for a leave application
within six months of it being issued. If a student makes an application using a Confirmation
of Acceptance for Studies that has expired, the application will be refused. The student must
get a new Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from his/her Tier 4 sponsor.
30. A
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies cannot be used more than once. If a student’s Tier
4 application is refused, and he/she wishes to make another application, he/she will need to
get a new Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from his/her sponsor.
31. Having a valid Confirmation of

Acceptance for Studies does not guarantee that a student’s
application will be successful. The student must meet all the requirements of the category
and any other requirements of the Immigration Rules.
32. A
Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies can be withdrawn/cancelled at any time by
either us or the Tier 4 sponsor. Where a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies has been
withdrawn/cancelled, the same procedures apply as where a Confirmation of Acceptance for
Studies becomes invalid.
MONEy (AlSO KNOWN AS MAINTENANCE OR FUNDS)
Money needed by a Tier 4 Student
33. A
student will not have access to most state benefits (known as public funds) so must have
enough money to support himself/herself so that he/she does not face financial difficulties
whilst studying in the UK. The money a student needs depends on the length of the course
and where he/she will study.
34. The money a student will need to show must be enough to cover his/her course fees for his/
her first period of study or, if the student is continuing a course, for the next period of study,
and living costs for up to a maximum of nine months. Living costs might include paying for
the student’s accommodation or purchasing study materials such as books or stationery.
35. The amount a student will need to show for course fees will be given by the

Tier 4 sponsor
on the student’s Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies.
36. For students starting out on a new course the

Tier 4 sponsor must give the fees for the first
year of the course, or for the entire course (if the course is less than a year long).
37. For students who are continuing on an existing course and are applying for an extension to

continue to study the course, the Tier 4 sponsor must give either:
• the fees that the student still needs to pay as stated on the student’s Confirmation
of Acceptance for studies – if the student is part way through the year; or
• the fees that the student needs to pay for the next academic year, if the student
will continue the course at the start of the next academic year.
38. If a student is coming to the UK as part of a Study

Abroad Programme, the Tier 4 sponsor
must only include any fees that must be paid to them for the first year of the course (or for
the entire course if it is less than a year long). If the student has no fees to pay to the UK Tier
4 sponsor, the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies must confirm that there are no fees
due (for example, if these have been paid to an overseas Higher Education provider).
Tier 4 Policy Guidance (04/2011) page 5 of 68

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